Macerators are incorrectly said to provide an easy and convenient means of disposing of food, sanitary and clinical waste products into our drains and sewers. This type of disposal increases the risk of sewer blockages and other malfunctions of the wastewater network and treatment plants.
What do macerators do to the sewers?
Macerators reduce solids into small pieces through a shredding or grinding process that allows the residue to be washed into the domestic drainage system. Macerators place an extra load on sewerage systems that they were not designed to handle. This can lead to build-up of fatty food waste on the inside of sewer pipes and cause blockages, sewer flooding, environmental pollution, odours and rodent infestations.
Macerators also use volumes of high quality drinking water to flush away the ground-up matter - this at a time when reducing water wastage is also a priority. Typically, macerators are in use in commercial kitchens, hospitals, care homes and some domestic properties.
What's the answer?
The water companies are working to make people aware of the impact of macerators and to promote sustainable waste management among domestic, business and healthcare customers. Through the Sewer Network Action Programme (SNAP), the industry aims to improve the understanding of the misuse of sewers and to promote good practice.
Our sewers must remain fit for purpose by ensuring that inappropriate flows and unsuitable materials are not put into the pipes.